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Sandbag Training for Strength
The world's strongest men who compete in these competitions swear by sandbag training to increase core strength for a very good reason, it works. More often than not sandbag training is regarded as the poor man's choice for both strength training and general conditioning, but combining the two certainly makes a big difference.The problem when training with sandbags is that the weight is awkward and difficult to lift. There is no "groove" that you can find that will clearly indicate your increase in strength. Technique does improve with time however so you will struggle with each lift which is what it is designed to do. The sandbag is unstable and constantly shifting, always seeming to be trying to prevent you lifting the weight when compared to lifting any fixed device like barbells and dumbbells or machines. Most bodybuilders and power-lifters seem to forget the advantage that sandbag training can offer. With the constantly shifting weight one is forced to use less weight that one would use when lifting a similar movement with a fixed weight, which is why most people never use them. You are doing sandbag training to increase core strength, not to impress your ego by lifting a big weight for X reps. Sandbag training has become known as "functional training" because unlike regular barbell, dumbbell or kettlebell training sandbag training can be specifically adapted to suite your "functional" requirements. It can be adjusted or adapted to suite the strength that you are looking for. Sandbag training should never replace weight training but should be used as an addition to training with weights in order to improve results and develop core strength. The weight of the sandbag is awkward lifting and it requires that you fight to perform any movement, great for sports like MMA, wrestling and football. It needs greater grip strength as the sandbag is malleable constantly adjusting to your body and the way you lift it. Sandbag training is unstable and constantly changing, very similar to real life and offers a great technique when trying to break through any training plateau. If you do sandbag training for only one session once or twice a month to your regular training you notice a difference. One could use a heavy sandbag and do low reps or a moderately heavy sandbag and do high reps with less rest between sets. Below are two sandbag movements that although very awkward to do will make a big difference. The Sandbag Windmill is done the same way as it is done with a kettlebell or dumbbell but now it is a lot more difficult. The Sandbag Bear-Hug Load Carry will develop a core strength in you that is not normally found in regular weight training. One can do a variety of other sandbag movements from the Sandbag Floor Press with a bridge to the Sandbag Clean and Press. The point is that if you are dealing with a frustrating training plateau that you are trying to break through sandbag training could very well be the answer you are looking for.